Philip Syng Physick
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Physick, Philip Syng(1768–1837) surgeon; born in Philadelphia. His desire to be a goldsmith was thwarted by his father's ambitions for him to pursue a medical career. After studying at the University of Pennsylvania and in London, he took his M.D. at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Back in Philadelphia he built up a private practice while also serving with the Pennsylvania Hospital (1794–1816) and teaching surgery at the University of Pennsylvania (1801–19). Meanwhile, he drew on his mechanical skills to improve medical instruments, including such inventions as the needle forceps, the guillotine/snare for performing tonsillectomies, and improved splints and traction devices for treatment of dislocations.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.